|WHY HE WAS CHOSEN:
Working with Omnicom Group's OMD West, Los Angeles, Mr. Kerho negotiated a deal with NBC to make Nissan a lead sponsor of the untried "Heroes" series last fall.
Nissan was the only advertiser during the premier episode, with its vehicles integrated in the show throughout the first hit season. Nissan promoted the alliance in a co-branded, in-theater campaign before the show's debut and worked with NBC for product integration in an online "Heroes" comic book. The deal included a giveaway of more than 3 million co-branded iTunes cards. Nissan also had a major presence on the "Heroes" area of NBC.com, with a link to Nissan's site.
"Heroes" turned out to be NBC's top-rated scripted show, with an average of 14.3 million viewers per episode, according to Nielsen Media Research. Mr. Kerho says research showed viewers were twice as likely to recall Nissan ads vs. competitors' ads.
Mr. Kerho, 43, who was interactive marketing director before Nissan combined its media and interactive teams, cites Nissan's sharing of vital media objectives with NBC as a reason for its success. For instance, Nissan told NBC it wanted to be next to high-engagement, "pull" content.
OMD also merged its various teams into one to mirror the client, another reason Mr. Kerho says the two were able to create such an integrated platform. "When you bring traditional media people together and tear down the silos together, this is the kind of stuff you can create," he says. Nissan is back for NBC's second season, as sole advertiser during the Sept. 24 premiere and with a sweepstakes to give away five Nissan Rogue SUVs, each signed by the creator of "Heroes," Tim Kring.
Jim Helberg, executive client communications director at OMD West, said Mr. Kerho is a fast learner with a great quantitative brain and a good creative sense. He said the silo busting at Nissan and OMD has led to "much more aggressive platform planning and integration."